England should tour Pakistan in 2022, says PCB chairman Ehsan Mani


Sri Lanka toured Pakistan in late 2019

England’s next away series against Pakistan will not take place in a neutral country, according to Pakistan Cricket Board chairman Ehsan Mani.

England have not played in Pakistan since 2005, with their last two away tours held in the United Arab Emirates. Their next trip is due in 2022.

Pakistan did not host Test cricket for 10 years following an attack by gunmen on the Sri Lanka team in 2009.

“I don’t think there will be any reason for England not to come,” said Mani.

Speaking to Test Match Special, he added: “I’m very clear that we won’t play in third countries. We either play in Pakistan or we won’t play.”

International cricket first returned to Pakistan in 2015 with limited-overs matches against Zimbabwe.

Sri Lanka, West Indies and a World XI all played T20s before Sri Lanka undertook a full tour in 2019.

Since then, Bangladesh have played Test cricket in Pakistan, while an MCC side captained by Kumar Sangakkara – who was on the Sri Lanka bus attacked 11 years ago – also toured in February of this year.

“Pakistan is safe,” added Mani, who is a former president of the International Cricket Council.

“For some teams that have come we have had very tight security, like you would have for a head of state.

“By the time the MCC came, they wanted to get out and play golf. They went sightseeing, they went to restaurants.

“We’ve got two years before England come and I hope by then things have settled down and there will be more freedom of movement.”

England are due to play three Tests and five one-day internationals in Pakistan at the end of 2022.

Speaking on Wednesday, coach Chris Silverwood said he would be open to travelling to Pakistan.

“For me it’s great that it’s a topic of conversation again,” he said “We are looking to get back there.

“Personally, I’d have no problem going.”

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